Causes and Remedies of Picking in Tablet Manufacturing : Pharmaceutical Guidelines

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Causes and Remedies of Picking in Tablet Manufacturing

Problem of picking in tablet compression is very common when using the branding on the tablets. This could be avoided by following some precautions those are described in this article.
In the pharmaceutical world, tablet picking refers to when a portion of the material in a tablet is removed. In most cases, picking occurs on the upper side of the tablet as opposed to the lower side. Tablet formation should meet various conditions; lubrication, heating, and cooling. These activities should take place at specific intervals and temperatures. If you fail to incline with the conditions, chances for picking become so high. Therefore, consider reading this article to the end.

Reasons that Cause Picking and Some Remedies

There are several reasons that cause picking. After you complete the compression process, you may realize that some granules are still stuck on the surface of the tablet. This may be as a result of excess moisture preventing some components from breaking down at the end of the process. Sometimes, the cracks left on the tablet allows moisture to be absorbed leading to picking.

Picking in Tablets
In other cases, you may fail to match the hardness of the tablet to its size or shape. This leads to the punches not closing up as hard as expected. However, you can correct this by compressing the tablet to level higher in hardness than the one used before.

Inaccurate Lubrication and much Binding Material
Putting inaccurate lubrication on the tablet may lead to picking. If you put too much lubrication, for instance, the tablets will end up sticking together which will certainly leave cracks. While spraying you should make sure that the guns sprinkle at an even rate.

In some cases, you may use colloidal silica to prevent the material from attaching to the punch faces. On the other hand, using too much binding material can lead to picking. This is because the binder will form layers making it easy for the material to start coming off. You are therefore advised to use an appropriate amount of binder. If it is not easy, you can change the binders you use or even use dry ones.

More Causes
Some shapes designed for tablets make it difficult to stick together. To solve this you can change the shape of the tablet or give it some curve on the sides. The edges, on the other hand, should be shaped like capsules. This prevents the tablets from sticking together.
Related: Different Types of Defects of Tablets and Their Solutions

In addition to this, there are some tablets with rough edges. This can be corrected by making sure that the edges are polished. There are some tablets that have dividing lines. If these lines run deep, chances of picking become high. It is therefore important to make sure that these lines are neither deep nor sharp.

Lastly, when you have letters on the tablets, the chances of picking are highly increased. You should, therefore, make sure that the designed letters are large in size. You can also cover the punch faces with chromium to make it smooth and increase the ability to hold engravings.

In conclusion, picking during tablet manufacturing is something we cannot run away from. There are some remedies that are easily accepted in pharmaceutical procedures while others are not. Compressing tablets and then returning them in accepted form. Others are rejected because of additional compounds needed. However, that does not mean that we should not take the necessary precautions in dealing with the issue.





Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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